Finding your roots often means returning home, but for Dan Croll it meant leaving it. The Scouser left Liverpool for Los Angeles on a whim and hasn’t looked back.
With no grand plan, the album is aptly titled. In hindsight, the creation of ‘Grand Plan’ appears to be the very thing that Croll needed to accomplish to rediscover himself and his sound. Observing 12 months of his life (from February 2018 onwards), the album chronologically tracks his experiences of life in this new land.
Releasing singles in pairs throughout this year, 10/12 tracks have already been debuted, with only ‘Surreal’ and ‘Together’ left to release. The end of the 12-month time limit he had given himself in LA was coming to an end and the surreal nature of the quick passing of time was hitting home. “Look at that, you’ve made it… How does it feel? Does it seem surreal?” The excitement of what’s next, for his relationship, his career and himself is palpable. And it all completely contrasts the grief of ‘Together’.
After the passing of Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading (Her’s) alongside their manager Trevor Engelbrektson, the Liverpool music scene mourned. And even though he was thousands of miles away from their UK base, Croll mourned too. His mother’s message to him rang true, “at least they’re together”, resulting in this powerful ode to his friends.
Despite the pained end note, the album has humour and love, as any life does. From ‘Yesterday’ observing his embarrassing and ill-prepared meeting with Sir Paul McCartney, to ‘Work’ that saw him experience an intense and immediate love with his now girlfriend. The album does not feel fixed in the location is was written, but rather the time. It is an experiential, musical diary of a big life event and the experiences that came from it. It reflects on the love for his homeland (‘Rain’) and yet looks forward in his excitement for what’s next (‘Grand Plan’).
And whilst the Spacebomb country-psych-soul style was an unexpected move away from the pop- infused sounds that lingered in ‘Sweet Disarray’ and ‘Emerging Adulthood’, and not all fans will be best pleased by such a sound progression, the heartfelt and at times pitiful lyrics of his ‘Grand Plan’ is a humbling nod at the inevitability of growing up and branching out.
Words: Megan Walder
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